White roofs

Now that our federal government has decided to rejoin the “reality-based community” (as a Bush administration flack disparagingly referred to those of us who prefer fact to flim-flam), we are hearing straight talk about climate change. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu dropped in to visit with the most trusted reporter in America, Jon Stewart, and mentioned an astonishing bit of research. Scientists in Berkeley have calculated that if we install white roofs and lighter colored pavement in all places where cooling of buildings represents a higher energy demand than warming, it would have the equivalent effect on climate change of eliminating all automobiles for eleven years!Cecil265

And it can be done for no extra cost if we require white roofs on new structures and whenever roofs are replaced. In mid-20th century white shingled roofs were widely popular in the sunbelt because we knew it reduced air-conditioning costs, but “style” trumped sense during our spending binge in later decades when we thought that easy credit meant we could afford whatever we liked.

Wrong. Let’s turn Asheville’s roofs white!

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